36°N member Kourtney Brooks is the founder and CEO of TINGE, a private-label cosmetic company that is revolutionizing the beauty industry by bringing inclusivity to full-body treatments and products for women around the globe. The professional treatment and retail line will be distributed and sold in high-end spas in Asian and Middle Eastern countries.
Where and when do you get your best ideas? Oddly enough, in the bath! I take a bath at least once daily (sometimes twice on the really good days). You would think that my mind would shut off then, but it’s the opposite for me. I always keep a little notebook and pen nearby to jot down creative thoughts or ideas. This last week, a brand campaign came to me in the bath... after endless hours sitting at my desk brainstorming, of course. (Rumor has it that Emma Watson and Gwyneth Paltrow’s self-care regimens also include a daily bath so I guess I’m in good company.)
What’s a work tool or ritual that you couldn’t live without? My morning routine. Brewing a cup of coffee (or two if it's Monday), applying my daily skincare regimen, reading the Skimm and glancing through the latest on Into the Gloss (the holy grail of beauty blogs).
What skill would you like to master? Cooking. I'm actually the world's worst cook. If you have any recommendations for cooking classes here in the TUL area, I'm all ears!
What advice would you give to someone seeking to launch or grow a business? Comfort will never get you to the place you want to be or the woman (or man) you want to become. This has been my mantra the last couple of years. It's so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing and how everyone else is doing it. Learn to love and appreciate risk. There's so much beauty in that space. Be comfortable enough to dive into tension, awkwardness and issues you'd rather not even admit existed. Apathy and comfort is easy, but raw growth and change is better.
What’s a big “win” you experienced in the past year? TINGE product trials and testing in India and Abu Dhabi. It was incredibly rewarding to see something that's been in idea phase and product development the last two years come to life!
What are you most looking forward to in the year to come? The TINGE launch! We hope to be distributing our products to luxury spas in South Korea, Japan and the Middle East by early 2019. I'm so excited to see all of the pieces come together and can't wait to reveal the branding and messaging of our company. It's really going to go against the grain of current brands in the global beauty space. We’re here to disrupt a tainted industry. To build a real, raw, transparent brand women around the world can get behind. That lifts people up where they are. Whatever that looks like. For every body. For all womankind.
Why 36 Degrees North? When I decided I would take the jump and pursue TINGE as a career my senior year at Oklahoma State University, I always imagined myself just working on the business in Oklahoma City (where I was born and raised) from my apartment or a local coffee shop. Luckily I was given the opportunity to office out of a new coworking space in Tulsa called 36 Degrees North, in partnership with OSU. It sounded like a dream come true, and after being at the space for the grand opening, immersed in the atmosphere and in the heart of the entrepreneurial community in Tulsa, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. In my opinion, this was one of the best and most strategic decisions I could have made for TINGE. The resources offered and connections made have been key in getting TINGE to where it is today and developing me as an individual and local entrepreneur. I love Tulsa. I love this incredible, entrepreneurial community. I feel so lucky to be here. Building and laying the foundation for TINGE in this city.
Do you want to give any shout-outs? Shoutout to David Thomison! He has been key in getting me to this point with TINGE. He was actually my venture capital professor at Oklahoma State. Whew, his class was tough! By far the toughest course of my undergraduate career. I spent hours upon hours in his office trying to grasp the material. He didn't give up on me then and hasn't given up on me yet! Haha. Turns out, I still do that in his office here at 36ºN, but I'm getting to apply it to my company TINGE as I begin to my raise my first round of capital. Thank you, David!!